You’d think that time would help make things a little clearer, and predictable. Unfortunately, it seems older does not necessarily equal wiser - innovation has never been harder to keep up within wealth management.
Time to think
While finance keeps getting more complex and nuanced as time goes on, all is not lost. Thankfully, staying competitive is not out of reach, if you know where to look.
Today, what drives growth and attracts customers is more complex than being the biggest industry player, seeking the biggest profits. The traditional values and needs that define wealth management, quality and personlization, for example, need to be translated into an increasingly digital context, that centers on client experience enhancement over fast profits.
As with any investment into a financial business, a central motivation should be to ultimately produce outcomes that benefit customers. While in the past, the tools available to wealth managers were all relatively similar, the introduction of digital services into the market has been a disruptive force. It’s not that being manual is a disadvantage per se - the key will be equipping yourself with the tools that let you be consistently competitive moving forward.
Giving the customer what they want
Digital is becoming the norm - from Google Maps to Airbnb, to Uber and widespread mobile banking - wealth management is no different as an industry. Personal wealth management via digital channels is increasing in usage year on year.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating that everyone is looking for 100% digital experiences, people will have a high value in these industries for a long time to come. However, we do need to appreciate that customers now have a different idea of what a ‘personal experience’ means to them and what they expect from their provider.
Customisation at a cost?
As it stands, the traditional wealth management experience lacks convenience, despite its many bespoke qualities. In contrast, convenience is in growing demand, a concern that both businesses and their customers share.
People will, ultimately, still need experienced professionals for some of their financial decision-making and planning, for the foreseeable future - particularly for the more complex financial decisions, for example, house purchases, asset management and tax planning.
The end-goal for technology at the present time is to enhance that dimension as much as possible - resulting in holistic advice with all the tailoring it needs, in a cost-effective model that spends less time on admin and more time adding real value to their service.
One small step...
In fact, adopting bolt-on enhancements like automations for back and middle-office functions could be the most efficient routes to upgrading the services to existing and potential clients, and advisors, due to their accessibility, scalability and affordability.
New customers have new expectations, sure, but they aren’t completely different from the clients you’ve served before. It’s a question of new modes of engagement, rather than fundamentally rebuilding your entire business model. Because nowadays, your clients know where to look - it’s for your business to know where to be seen.